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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
angry?<br><br>
My almost 12 year old dd has been baiting me all morning and I am at the end of my rope dealing with it.<br><br>
Her 4H club is meeting here at 2pm and we need to go to pick up some sweet feed (horse) because their project is making Healthy Horse Treats today. I told her that we'd go when she finished up her math work (this is the only subject in which I require daily work because she is having a hard time memorizing math facts like multiplication tables, and it's only 15-20 minutes of work)<br><br>
Instead of just doing the work, she's been telling me nasty things like 'I guess you'll just have to cancel the meeting because I'm not doing my work'. She KNOWS I will not cancel the meeting. That would be unfair to the other 8-9 girls in the club, who also need to complete this project.<br><br>
She's also been saying things to her 3-1/2 year old sister like 'I bet you want to go see the ANIMALS now, don't you?' and the answer is of course a resounding YES!!! Where we go to get the feed there will be animals to see and pet.<br><br>
She is yelling to me right now from the other room...'STILL haven't done the math! What are you going to DO about it?'<br><br>
I am SO TEMPTED to go in there and clap my hand over her saucy mouth so she can't speak. She is driving me up the wall. She's being horrid because she knows she can get away with it.<br><br>
I don't know what the logical consequence of this behavior should be. I will NOT forgo the buying of the feed, and I will not cancel the meeting. This is not just about her. Her group takes turns, it is our turn. I'm not willing to remove her from the club either...this is a great 4H club and I really like her peers in the club, and she loves them too.<br><br>
I've tried the whole 'You're not just showing disrespect to me, but to your whole club with this...what if I really DID skip buying the feed?' and it's not getting an effect.<br><br>
What should I do? I am in the mood to have some consequence that starts after her friends go home but I can't think of anything that makes sense.<br><br>
I do want to say that she is a good girl and a sweetheart most of the time. Just sometimes she does these things that she seems to be WANTING me to be angry, and it sucks, because I don't know how to handle it. I wish I could just say to myself "Don't give her the satisfaction of getting angry!" but I can't help it. I'm fuming inside. And she's still sassing at me from the other room, and the three year old is pulling on my leg begging to go pet the animals...
 

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So I understand not canceling the meeting, but does that mean that she gets to be an active participant? What if she were sidelined for the duration? She watches, but doesn't <b>do</b> the making of the horse treats?<br><br>
The only other thing I wonder about is if there's some other strategy for getting the math work in....I don't know what kind of work she's refusing to do right now, but is there another way of conveying the information? Maybe a real world thing, like figuring out how to double or triple a recipe or work with proportions or something?
 

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How about calling her on the fact that she doesn't really want to get her math work done. Why is that? Is it too hard for her? Does she need help? Would it help for you to do it with her?<br><br>
Easy to say this looking from the outside...
 

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My bad. I got to thinking about the sitting out suggestion, and it's dangerously close to shaming, which I don't think is very useful.<br><br>
I'm with Emese'sMom--unless she's pushing your buttons all the time with no apparent pattern, it may really be about math frustration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your replies...I would not make her sit out while the rest of the girls are here doing the project, in my opinion that would be worse than canceling the meeting. It would be awkward and embarassing for the other girls and their moms, and for my dd too.<br><br>
As for the math...it's multiplication. She knows how to do it, but she doesn't have the facts down pat yet, which is why she's hemming and hawing about getting it done. This is 2#x1# multiplication, like 76x8, 42x5, etc. She knows HOW to do it but she has to think about the facts so it doesn't just go snap, snap, snap like it would if she'd memorized them perfectly.<br><br>
I'm not requiring her to do pages and pages of this either...she has to do about 20 exercises. I don't think this is unreasonable. It should take her about 15-20 minutes to do it. If she knew her facts it would take her about 5 minutes.<br><br>
I worked as a math tutor at the university level in my 'previous life' before becoming a sahm and I believe strongly in making sure she has the basics DOWN before we move on to more complex ideas. Yes, she finds this boring, but I think it is necessary and I let her desires drive our curriculum in every other area.<br><br>
FWIW, I have already been to the farm & feed place and got the horse feed we need. I made her stay in the van with her math while the 3 year old and I went in to get the feed. She didn't like it because she wanted to get out and see the animals that were there too, but she was safe in the van and she hadn't finished her work. I told her that I was going to do that before we left, and on the ride there, and she could have finished her math on the way there in the car if she had spent the time working instead of haranguing me.<br><br>
Honestly I think it's just the age...she can be so relentlessly, intentionally irritating and it just sucks for me! I try to tell myself that it must suck for her too, but it's hard to swallow sometimes.
 

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I don't have a 12-year-old or anything close to it, so bear that in mind.<br><br>
Not doing math doesn't seem at all connected to buying horse feed. I understand you wanting her to know the math, but do you truly think she will learn anything by doing her work under duress while caught up in a dramatic "battle"?<br><br>
I would leave the math thing alone, and explain that it's her responsibility to get her math work done. She is the one who will have problems later if she doesn't understand it.<br><br>
You said yourself she understands the concept. She may realize later that memorizing her mult. tables would make her life easier, in which case she'd do it on her own. You can't force her to memorize anything, no matter how important you think it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nancy926</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7236537"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not doing math doesn't seem at all connected to buying horse feed. I understand you wanting her to know the math, but do you truly think she will learn anything by doing her work under duress while caught up in a dramatic "battle"?</div>
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Yes, I hope she DOES learn something from this...that she has a responsibility to complete a small amount of work each day, and she is going to do without 'extras' like horse petting until it gets done. She had twice as much time as she needed to finish it on the way to the store. Instead of even making an attempt she spent the entire ride harassing me. If she had even *tried* to finish the work I would have let her come in with us.<br><br>
As for making her life life harder later...it's NOT just her life. If she doesn't learn to apply herself even a little bit now, we're BOTH going to deal with the consequences down the road. I am not going to be a 'You're 18 now...sink or swim, baby!' kind of parent...the decisions she makes now affect her circumstances later.<br><br>
(Not implying that anyone responding to me with a different opinion is automatically going to be the kind of parent I just described, just to be clear!)
 

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I totally respect getting down the basics before moving on to more complex issues. But I'm also remembering my music theory professor as an undergraduate. Beginning music theory--particularly aural skills, being able to hear something and immediately say what it is--requires a lot of drill and can be very dull. The genius of this professor was that he found many different ways of drilling. It kept us on our toes.<br><br>
I don't believe that teaching should be about entertaining the students, but I do believe that in light of different learning styles, if something's not working, then it's important to find a different "way in" for the student. It sounds as if this could turn into a power struggle between you and your dd. Is sticking to the current method worth it?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PajamaMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7236377"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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FWIW, I have already been to the farm & feed place and got the horse feed we need. I made her stay in the van with her math while the 3 year old and I went in to get the feed. She didn't like it because she wanted to get out and see the animals that were there too, but she was safe in the van and she hadn't finished her work. I told her that I was going to do that before we left, and on the ride there, and she could have finished her math on the way there in the car if she had spent the time working instead of haranguing me.<br>
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That is exactly what I would have done and I would have done everything in my power to ignore her baiting. Sounds like you handled this great!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PajamaMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7236634"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If she doesn't learn to apply herself even a little bit now, we're BOTH going to deal with the consequences down the road. I am not going to be a 'You're 18 now...sink or swim, baby!' kind of parent...the decisions she makes now affect her circumstances later.</div>
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You are correct. However, there is a difference between <b>her</b> learning to apply herself and <b>you</b> making her.<br><br>
At 12yo she may have easier time to understand (fully understand, not just nod her head) the serious heart-to-heart talk.<br><br>
Though, I would start the talk by listening to her (trully listening and also trying to understand, not just looking for a pause to insert "yes, but!"). It might take a LOT of patience (I had a 12yo once, LOL)<br><br>
Ask her why math is hard for her. Ask her how she sees herself as a member of your family. Why does she seem to want to anger you. Ask her how she sees herself in school. Don't offer solutions yet. Just listen. Validate. Hug. Then, maybe somewhat later ask if she would like your help. Ask her how you can work TOGETHER on what is important to both of you.<br><br>
12 for many is the "almost teen" when people no longer feel like children, but aren't really adults yet. Plus hormonal changes. Plus peer pressure.<br><br>
Trying to "make" them do things (whatever "technique" is used) often results in them pushing back even harder.<br><br>
Sounds like she needs some control of her life. I understand <b>you</b> needing a peacefull meeting. I understand <b>you</b> wanting her to do XYZ. Those are absolutely valid wants and needs. What does <b>she</b> need/want? What are <b>her</b> valid (valid to her, not to anybody else) wants and needs?<br><br>
One of the things I realized is that by bringing kids "on your team" as partners and contributors takes longer, sometimes way longer. But "making" them do stuff because parents want them to do stuff gradually results in harsher and harsher "techniques" and frustrated parents.<br><br>
12yo can be tremendous help around the family, great achievers at whatever they undertake... if THEY want to.
 

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My 7yo does this ALL the time. It's so frustrating. I have started to a new technique that seems to be working. When she goes off I simply tell her that I am aware that she is trying to make me angry and I won't let her do that to me. I say in a calm, matter of fact way. Then I tell her again what I have asked of her and go about my business. She can rant and rave, say snotty thing all she wants. I just ignore them. Sometimes it goes on and on, and sometimes she gives up. It's all for negative attention. She's been doing it for 3 years, ever since her baby brother joined our family. She is very good at it.
 

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I think there are two issues here. (I speak from experience with 10 yo DS)<br>
1) Not doing math<br>
2) Pushing your buttons to get a reaction<br>
1 Can be dealt with any number of ways. From deciding to do math a different way, sitting with her, etc to simply insisting. I do simply isist, and if DS is working I will stay with him. If he starts goofing off, I leave. I do sideline him if he refuses to do it when we have plans (if he has been working staedily but just can't get it done, I don't sideline him)<br><br>
Pushing Buttons- have you read Anthony Wolfe? I state my expectations and then ignore his ranting and raving. If he needs help he has to ask calmly.
 

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While I know there is a popular response which works for many parents that is generally "ignore the attitude, but focus on the underlying issue", that does not work for me personally. It would be a big deal for me if ds were saying a thing like "I'm not gonna do that, so what are you going to do about it?". If ds were saying things like that...I would really have no interest in any other activity with him that didn't involve "getting real" with each other, finding out what in the world was going on, and coming to some kind of understanding. I mean....personally....I would cancel the meeting, only because I could not pretend things were okay with me and ds for the duration of that time...if that makes sense. I could not just smile and go make horse treats. I would be really troubled, and not in a hostess frame of mind. IRL ds knows that when he starts in like that, and I say "Okay, right now you are upset, but you are also using a tone that i think is meant to be hurtful as well." Right there ds will almost always stop and say "Okay, yes, I am upset. I'm sorry about being mean though", and we can then talk about what he is actually upset about, sans "the tone".<br><br>
Ds will be 11 in a few months btw. They do start to experiment with "the tone" at this age. But so far it is working to just say 'Whoa. I am here to help and listen, and I am not okay with that tone. Can you speak to me in a regular voice so we can work this out?". If he honestly says no, then we don't continue. But he's pretty geared towards wanting resolution, and will quickly come back and say "Okay, I'm over the tone, let's talk now". To me this is Life Skills 101...deciding whether it's worth it to meet the needs of others who are willing to meet your needs too. It cannot be take/take/take and he knows that by this age. My gosh he's going to be a really big person in a few years. I have to trust him to decide whether, for example, he really was committed to making the club meeting happen (which includes not screaming at his mom beforehand and then blatantly refusing to stop and discuss why). I am not willing to enable that by swallowing my own feelings and pretending I am fine and going off to host a fun activity for him. I just...cannot be that kind of person, and for better or worse, he *has* to take some responsibility for making an event like that happen.<br><br>
I don't know if any of that made sense!
 

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I must be missing something, but I don't see how a worksheet on 2*1 multiplication helps with memorizing the basic 0*0 to 12*12 table. Get/make a cassette with multiplication songs. Play that when you drive places and while you guys do chores together, your 3-year-old will have them memorized before she's adding and your 12 year old will get them even sooner.<br><br>
Now, for the actual problem. I think this sums it up best:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Instead of just doing the work, she's been telling me nasty things like 'I guess you'll just have to cancel the meeting because I'm not doing my work'. She KNOWS I will not cancel the meeting. That would be unfair to the other 8-9 girls in the club, who also need to complete this project.</td>
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Teenagers are toddlers with mouths. Just as a toddler might hit or scream to get a reaction, teenagers use words. And, yes, developmentally, a 12 year old is a teenager. And is old enough to be told "Fine. It's your choice whether to do this work. Now, here's the information you will need to make that choice...." And is also old enough to be told "I'm sorry, but all members of this family contribute, and right now what I need you to do is..." or "what do you want to do to help out? the three things that need to be done right now are..."<br><br>
Also remember, that being a peevish pill can be a sign of hunger, thirst, being tired, and/or needing hugs. So bring in a mug of hot cocoa sitting down with her and saying "let's work on it together" could make a huge difference. *Before* you get totally upset about her not doing it.
 

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Do you have a computer at home?<br><br>
I went from being completely intimidated by multiplication (embarassment for not having something memorized that others seemed to 'just get' didn't help) to earning a degree in mathematics. I started on this road to success with an old TI (dating myself here) and a math drilling program. It was one of the only computer "games" I had access to at the time, and boy did I ever do them - quite willingly and voluntarily. I kind of kept it private, come to think of it. I didn't want anyone to see me doing this behind the scenes work.<br><br>
I (love)^x mathematics, where x->infinity.<br><br>
My opinion: Keep it fun. Keep it light. The drudgery approach will only make things worse. Sit down with her when you're feeling positive and brainstorm different things that might help. Or maybe search online together for a computer math drilling game and let her choose.
 

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I remember as a teenager thriving on saying things just to rile my mom up. I enjoyed it in some weird way. Eventually I just grew out of it. I think the best thing for me wouldve been if my mom was matter of fact with me and gave me no reaction. It would take the fun out of it. Maybe that would work?<br><br>
Do you think it could be connected to the new baby coming? Like she's trying to get extra attention?
 

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Oh gosh, there are tons of flash games online for multiplication drills that are very fun.<br><br>
Its hard for me to believe that any child will apply themselves to school work when they don't want to, and don't see the value of it. I would address the math problem from a different angle..... using practical life applications, and such...<br><br>
As far as the power struggle though:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Her 4H club is meeting here at 2pm and we need to go to pick up some sweet feed (horse) because their project is making Healthy Horse Treats today. I told her that we'd go when she finished up her math work</td>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Instead of just doing the work, she's been telling me nasty things like 'I guess you'll just have to cancel the meeting because I'm not doing my work'. She KNOWS I will not cancel the meeting. That would be unfair to the other 8-9 girls in the club, who also need to complete this project.</td>
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You set yourself up. Backed yourself in a corner, and she took advantage in a hurtful way. But you really threw down the gaunlet, and even though you phrased it very non-threateningly (when... then....) she called you on it. I probably would have backed down really early on and said, <i>"You're right. We can't miss the meeting. We need to get the feed. I'd like these math problems done, but I'm not fighting you about it."</i><br><br>
OR -- I think you could have left her home and gone to the meeting without her. In that she was treating you badly, and being disrespectful, it would have been understandable to be uninterested in participating in this with her.<br><br>
I also think that "attitude" from a 12 yo. is a lot like whining from a 3 yo. Its what they do!! And they are really unaware of how they sound or the damage they are doing. I would speak to her 1:1 about it at a different time, when things are not so charged up, and let her know that tone and langage are becoming a regular problem. Also let her know that it hurts you... be very real with her. <i>"When you take a nasty tone with me, I feel....."</i> Later, in the moment -- you an remind her -- "This is the sort of thing that really hurts/infuriates me."<br><br>
I would also validate her feelings about math a lot. Acknowleging and validating the way she feels does not mean that she doesn't have to do it. But it will help her feel supported. I really wonder what the deeper dynamics are surrounding this issue. I wonder if on some level, its hard for her to feel inept in a subject, when her mom is so great at it. KWIM?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaduck</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7257577"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You set yourself up. Backed yourself in a corner, and she took advantage in a hurtful way. But you really threw down the gaunlet, and even though you phrased it very non-threateningly (when... then....) she called you on it. I probably would have backed down really early on and said, <i>"You're right. We can't miss the meeting. We need to get the feed. I'd like these math problems done, but I'm not fighting you about it."</i></div>
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This was my first thought, too. You made a threat that you couldn't follow through on, and she made the most of it. On the bright side, she's not dumb. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I wonder if the "message" she was sending by being so snotty is that she doesn't like the adversarial relationship the two of you have regarding her math.<br><br>
A lot of posters have had good ideas for getting her up to speed in math. Also, at 12 I would ask her for any ideas she might have. I love Ross Greene's Collaborative Problem Solving method (described in "The Explosive Child.")<br><br>
And although this may not be what you want to hear, when a kid is being a pain in the you-know-what in order to get a rise out of you, the best thing to do is pretend that it isn't working. Ok, maybe the best best thing would be to really not be upset, but I haven't mastered that yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I'm still working on faking it. (My 3 year old is a veteran goat getter.)
 
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